Check out our recommendations for what to do, where to go and what to eat in some of Cayman’s favorite overseas destinations this April.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
CULTURE Follow the public art trail along the Westersingel canal to admire sculptures by Rodin and Picasso, as well as amazing examples of modernist architecture (much of the city was bombed and rebuilt after WWII) like De Rotterdam, a 149-meter-tall ‘vertical city’ designed by Rem Koolhaas.
DINING Restaurant de Jong is one of the stylish restaurants redefining Rotterdam’s food scene. Choose between the four-course vegetable or non-vegetable menus and see chefs in the open kitchen get creative with seasonal ingredients.
SHOPPING Head to the leading shopping street of Van Oldenbarneveltstraat for a host of upmarket boutiques and charming cafés. Local fashion names like Monique van Heist and Susan Bijl rub shoulders with chic Danish, Swedish and French brands.
COCKTAILS A clandestine bar dripping in crystal glass and rosewood decadence, Dr. is staffed by lab coat-clad mixologists who can prescribe you a tonic for melancholy, heartbreak or simply thirst.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH The Dutch throw their biggest nationwide party for King’s Day on April 27. You’ll find the streets awash with orange in honor of the monarchy, and a celebratory line up of concerts, parades and flea markets.
CULTURE It seems the clocks stopped in 1850 in this perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement, with its lavish mansions built on sugar fortunes. One has been turned into the municipal museum, so you can explore local history before climbing to the rooftop for sensational views.
DINING Restaurante Sol Y Son offers a romantic old-school backdrop for dinner – think: ivy-clad courtyard, vintage furniture and gramophones. It serves huge portions and Indian flavors, as well as delicious Cuban cuisine such as lobster-stuffed plantains.
SHOPPING For souvenirs, check out the open-air market in front of the Casa de la Trova, crammed with local textiles and crochet work (avoid buying black coral or turtle shell items, made from endangered species). Trinidad is also known for its pottery, and at Taller Alfarero you can see craftsmen working the clay on a traditional potter’s wheel.
COCKTAILS Sip a ceramic cup of canchánchara, the classic Trinidadian cocktail of rum, honey, lemon and water, at Taberna la Canchánchara. Set in the courtyard and outhouse of a 400-year-old building, this cool venue is alive with local musicians and stays open late.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Easter time sees some spectacular rituals, such as The Way of the Cross Procession that passes through Trinidad’s narrow cobbled streets on Good Friday. Music, candles and prayers make for an atmospheric experience as you follow a route marked out by crosses.
CULTURE A magnificent 14th-century temple set atop a lava stone platform, Piʻilanihale Heiau on the Road to Hana exposes the extraordinary relationship between ancient Hawaiians and their environment. Up there you’ll also find Kahanu Garden, containing the largest collection of breadfruit species in the world and a handcrafted canoe house.
DINING Mama’s Fish House impresses with a stellar beachfront view and exotic kitsch décor, and that’s before you’ve even tasted the delicious fusion food. With appetizers served in coconut shells, mouthwatering surf and turf entrees and the signature Black Pearl chocolate dessert, it’s easy to see why this place scooped Hawaii Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award 2017.
SHOPPING Queen Ka’ahumanu Center is the island’s biggest mall and home to its only Macy’s. For some more homegrown products, a farmer’s market pops up in the mall three times a week.
COCKTAILS Does it get any more quintessentially Hawaii than drinking a Mai Tai at a beachside Tiki joint? Bartender Dale at Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel knows a thing or two about the perfect citrussy combination of rum, Curaçao, orgeat syrup and lime juice – he’s been making the classic cocktail for over 40 years.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH From ukulele to steel guitar, island reggae to traditional chants, the hills (well, volcanoes) of Hawaii really are alive with music this month for Mele Mei. Running through April, and on until June, there will be concerts and hula performances at every turn.
St. John, Antigua
CULTURE Besides the obvious sun-and-sand attractions (it’s said the island has a beach for every day of the year), tread in the footsteps of buccaneers and admirals at Nelson’s Yard, the history-steeped dockyard and UNESCO World Heritage site. Nearby Shirley Heights is an old military fortification rising to 490 feet, well worth the hike for glorious views over the harbor.
DINING For an authentic taste of Antigua stop at one of the roadside stalls for some Mannish water – a treaty, rich goat soup – conch stew, saltfish cakes or fried ochre. At the other end of the table, Sheer Rocks serves up Sunday brunch to a chilled Ibiza soundtrack, or fine dining options such as king scallops with sticky pork belly in the evenings.
SHOPPING The Tailor’s Daughter in St John’s carries an eclectic array of goods, from island-grown spices and hot sauces to burlap bags and handmade soaps. Noreen Phillips is one of the island’s major fashion outlets, while the Goldsmitty is renowned for exquisite 14- and 18-karat gold jewelry creations, set with precious stones.
COCKTAILS Antigua’s creamiest, fruitiest, booziest Piña Coladas are to be found at Bumpkin’s on Pigeon Beach. The cabanas at Jacqui O’s Beach House are another a firm favorite for sunset cocktails.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Get your sea legs on for Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, which begins on April 18. Watch the sleek hulls, gleaming and billowing sails sweep across English Harbour in a series of exhilarating races.
CULTURE Imagine life as a Danish royal in the 17th-century Rosenborg Slot, summer home of King Christian IV, complete with moat and crown jewels. For a city with rich seafaring heritage, a canal boat tour is a fantastic way to see key sites such as the opera house, Christianborg Palace (home to the Danish Parliament) and the Little Mermaid statue.
DINING Copenhagen is the hub of the modern Nordic food movement and has Scandinavia’s largest collection of Michelin stars. Good luck getting into Noma (four-time Best Restaurant in the World); other more accessible options include seafood specialist Kødbyens Fiskebar, gourmet organic hotspot Relae and art-inspired Restaurant Krebsegaarden, where the menu is inspired by the adjacent gallery’s current exhibition.
SHOPPING Design aficionados will have found their nirvana in Copenhagen’s chic interiors stores. Georg Jensen, Studio Arhoj and Stileben are among the best for classic Scandi furniture. More niche delights can be found at Kaktus København – Denmark’s first specialty cactus store, displaying succulents as living Nordic art pieces – and grown-up confectionary store Karamelleriet.
COCKTAILS Regularly ranked in the world’s 50 best bars, Ruby remains refreshingly unpretentious, simply serving divine cocktails in an apartment-like setting. Another award-winner is Strøm Bar, run by two Swedish brothers. Against a stylish art deco backdrop, homemade ingredients are whipped into seasonal libations.
WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH The Tivoli Gardens, one of Europe’s oldest and most charming amusement parks, opens its gates for the new season. Take a spin on the wooden roller coaster or the Star Flyer (the world’s second-tallest carousel).